The newly formed nonprofit Franklin Justice & Equity Coalition is continuing community conversations with a virtual panel discussion through Facebook Live Thursday from 6-7:30 p.m.
Titled “A Complete Discussion on the Fuller Story and Chip,” the program will feature panelists Dana McLendon, city of Franklin alderman, and the Fuller Story’s Eric Jacobson and pastors Kevin Riggs, Chris Williamson and Hewitt Sawyer. FJEC’s board members Dustin Koctar and Cleon Harrison will join the discussion, while FJEC board members Walter Simmons and RaeShawn Sanchez will moderate.
The conversation is meant to shine a clarifying light on the lawsuit between the city of Franklin and the United Daughters of the Confederacy around the Confederate statue named Chip in the town square, according to a press release from the FJEC. The Board of Aldermen voted unanimously 8-0 to settle a lawsuit with the UDC on July 14. McLendon, 2nd Ward alderman and vice mayor, made the motion to approve the draft after members reconvened following their executive session. He is expected to explain what the settlement means in layman terms.
“Seeing that this issue came to light in 2018 with the creation of the Fuller Story,” Simmons, co-founder of the FJEC, explained,” we want to tell the entire story, and Eric Jacobson and Pastor Kevin Riggs are the right people to help us paint the whole picture.”
Koctar will lend his voice to the discussion with an update to the petition he created to remove the Confederate branding from the Williamson County seal.
Each panelist will have time to explain their role in the conversation and will answer a few questions from the FJEC. Audience members are invited to submit questions via Facebook Live and they will be addressed during the event as well. The FJEC’s hope is to tell the entire story so that the whole community understands what the state of affairs is with Confederate symbols in the city and county and work together on the best path forward together.
The FJEC was formed by Pastor Bryant Herbert and Simmons on the heels of the Jesus and Justice Candlelight Prayer Vigil that was held in early June in downtown Franklin in response to the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
To join the virtual community, learn more here.
The Battle of Franklin Trust will also host a similar discussion on the "Fuller Story" on Facebook on July 28.